The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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German Marquez Colorado Rockies

One thing I like to do before the season is see whether the Rockies have many full away and full home weeks, or are instead many of the weeks split between home and away.  Alas, this year it is the latter.

John Thomas Roll2
Dustin May Los Angeles Dodgers

I'd deal him if you can get value.  His role is undefined and well, he's a pitcher.  A pitching prospect in fact.  

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Gregory Soto Detroit Tigers

The Wise Guy, also in mid-season form:

Gregory Soto  Great lefty velocity
and a swing-and-miss slider when he's not bouncing it at 55 feet. Highly
unlikely to emerge this year. PFAAB

Alex Patton Alex
Caleb Smith Miami Marlins

From the Wise Guy (found these days at The Athletic):

Caleb Smith  Extreme flyballer (52.5%), gets the Ks, but disturbing 6.39/1.62 decimals in his last 11 starts. With only 153.1 IP, I don't think fatigue was the problem. They're moving in the
fences in Miami this year, not by much but it won't help. Walks need to come
down from 9.3%. The risk outweighs the reward. $6, and if that gets him be really careful about road starts.

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Soroka Atlanta Braves

I agree that the top starters are not scarce.  I think the idea floating out there is that you have to get 1-2 top guys and/or spend more on pitching in general.  So I'm guessing the ratio of $ spent on hurlers was higher.  And it is inherent in Stars & Scrubs that there will be deals.   I was just surprised at who some of them are...mostly OF and pitchers - which is typical too I suppose...but also 1B.

Eric Valdi farley
Dustin May Los Angeles Dodgers
Have him for $10 and struggling with whether to keep or trade him.  This would be his second year of his contract.  Any thoughts?
joel schreier jschri
Wade Davis Colorado Rockies

Erick Halterman's take at Rotowire on the closer situation in Colorado:

The Rockies appear to have decided this battle before camp began, with manager Bud Black naming Wade Davis his closer. Given how awful Davis was last season, however, this spot is still worth watching. The 34-year-old recorded a terrible 8.65 ERA in 42.2 innings as his fastball lost a tick of velocity. He struck out just 20.4 percent of opposing batters while walking 14.1 percent. Scott Oberg claimed the job from him in midseason briefly before being shut down with blood clots in his arm. If he's healthy and looks likely to repeat his 2.25 ERA while Davis looks likely to repeat his aforementioned numbers, the Rockies would have little reason to stick with their previous decision.

Alex Patton Alex
Keone Kela Pittsburgh Pirates

Keone Kela (P) PIT - Feb. 24

Kela struck out the side in a scoreless outing against the Tigers on Sunday. He walked one batter.

ROTOWIRE RECOMMENDS: Manager Derek Shelton named Kela the team's closer last week. The righty saved 24 of 26 games in Texas in 2018 and could provide a cheap source of saves with Pittsburgh. If he does well, however, then there's a chance the rebuilding organization could cash in its Kela chips and move him during the summer. 

Alex Patton Alex
Gregory Soto Detroit Tigers

Welcome back Closer Monkey!

In mid-season form.

Detroit Tigers — Joe Jimenez struggled out of the gate last season but settled in pretty nicely to the closer’s role after Shane Greene was dealt mid-season.  Jimenez will return to the ninth in 2020, and Buck Farmer and Jose Cisnero, who were working the seventh and eighth ahead of Jimenez to finish 2019, should round out the back end of the Tigers’ bullpen.  Gregory Soto is a name to keep an eye on as he has impressed with his upper-90s fastball so far in spring training.

Starting 2020 hierarchy: Jimenez | Farmer | Cisnero.
Holds candidates: Farmer, Cisnero, Gregory Soto.

Alex Patton Alex
Taylor Rogers Minnesota Twins

Closer Monkey puts Rogers in the very safe category.

No quarrel here.

Minnesota Twins — Taylor Rogers was incredible for the Twins last season, recording 30 saves and 90 strikeouts in 69 innings.  He will start 2020 as the closer and the Twins have a very deep bullpen behind him.  They brought back Sergio Romoand added veteran Tyler Clippard.  Tyler Duffey and Trevor May also return and all four guys could see time in the seventh and eighth innings ahead of Rogers.

Starting 2020 hierarchy: Rogers | Romo | Clippard.
Holds candidates: Romo, Clippard, Tyler Duffey, Trevor May.

Alex Patton Alex
Hector Rondon Arizona Diamondbacks

His HR/FB went up, as did everyone's. His Hard% went up a little, as did most everyone's. His LD% and BABIP both went down.

Most striking, perhaps, is his drop in SO/9.

Very few pitchers saw that happen, especially relief pitchers.

The decline in FBv is undoubtedly a partial explanation.

And Age could be the explanation for that.

Alex Patton Alex
Ken Giles Toronto Blue Jays

The Closer Monkey's back!

Just in time to point out that even if he's not traded to the NL, a trade might not be a good thing.

Toronto Blue Jays — The Blue Jays have a young and fun corps of hitters, but the pitching staff is a work in progress. Ken Giles (1.87 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 14.1 K/9, 23 saves) is probably the most stable arm among them and should be the primary option for saves again in 2020. If the Blue Jays fall out of contention as expected, they could deal Giles to a contender, limiting his value if he becomes a setup man. Behind Giles in the Jays’ bullpen are Anthony Bass, who picked up a handful of saves last year with the Mariners, and 32-year-old righty Shun Yamaguchi, joining the big leagues after a lengthy stint in Japan, where he worked as a closer and starter, racking up 112 saves, a 3.33 ERA, and a 1.243 WHIP.  

Starting 2020 hierarchy: Giles | Bass | Yamaguchi.
Holds candidates: Bass, Yamaguchi, Sam Gaviglio.

Alex Patton Alex

I think he's very safe, Steve, especially if you don't lose his stats if he's traded mid-season to the NL. 

Alex Patton Alex
Liam Hendriks Oakland Athletics

Giles doesn’t make “safe bet” list?

stephen stoneburn baggies
Mike Soroka Atlanta Braves

So in CBS NL there was at least the clear perception that top starters are more scarce than last year, but why?  I don't see them as more scarce, but I do feel more confident in the "pool" of top starters this year.  And I certainly hope Darvish and Soroka are two of them, as I have them in my home NL-only league for $8 and $10, respectively.

But then I recall that Texpope is in the same league (reigning champs) and has Corbin for $11,  plus Desclafani/Caleb Smith/Musgrove at 2/3/4.  My two guys had better be aces!

Bob Elam Bob-in-TX
Liam Hendriks Oakland Athletics

I don't think anyone's saying, "No closers," (particularly in 4x4), just that you refuse to pay full market value in the auction for them, and shop HARD in the discount bin and your league's FAAB/free agents/whatever.

Mike Dean TMU2009
Mike Soroka Atlanta Braves

CBS NL auction seems more Stars and Scrubs than usual.  I'm guessing it is due to starting pitching valuation - the vibe that we need to spend more than usual for the top tiers talent.  But it looks like there are a lot of single digit players that will turn out to be bargains...and you could say that this is true every year - but I bet it felt that way for the auction participants at the time...not just looking at it now.  Another factor for S&S may be that this is a very early auction - so some roles are not defined.  Thoughts from the ones who were there?

Eric Valdi farley
Liam Hendriks Oakland Athletics

I could see 'no closers' working decently in a 5x5 league, but not 4x4. When there are only 8 categories, it's hard to win if you punt one. I play 4x4, and I used to go the 'no saves' route all the time because it just wasn't any fun to spend $30-35 for a 50-50 chance at about 5 points. 

But closers don't cost as much as they used to, even in 4x4. Only once every few years does a top closer reach $30, and for a guy like Osuna who was worth $39 in 4x4 last year, that's a bargain price. 

It seems like the top guys are pretty safe bets in the AL this year (Chapman, Osuna, Hand, Rogers, Hendriks) and then after that you won't need to pay $20 to get the others. Unlike past years, 2020 looks like a season where most teams are set on their closers, meaning it will only cost you a few bucks or a reserve pick or two to roster the main back ups. 

For me, I'm fortunate to have Kennedy at $1 and Workman at $5, respectively, in the 2 leagues I play in. And you can bet that I'll try for a 2nd saver at the draft to maximize my points in the save category. Plus, these relievers are more helpful in ERA and WHIP than we think. Just run Alex's Evaluator on the 4x4 money breakdown to see what relievers can do in those categories.  

Scott Shea SJS
Mike Soroka Atlanta Braves
More a mid-round buy.

I was pleasantly surprised I could buy Soroka for a couple bucks less than Gray - but it's close to a coin toss.

Darvish is because people are buying based on his second half, and projecting perhaps another 50K's over a Soroka or Gray.

I was actually more surprised at Chris Paddack going for $10 more than Gray or Soroka ($29) ... but that was "last really good starter left" bidding.
Phil Ponebshek Texpope

I'm going to guess there was too much money at the end, not too little.

Alex Patton Alex

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